life in a tiny apartment.

September 18, 2013

Tip #79: Purge often.

Pack it up, pack it in, etc.

Believe me when I say you don’t have room to hang on to socks without toes or sweatshirts with grease stains ten years in the making. This part you know, but what you might need reminding of, as I do, is the need revisit the purge every few months. It’s the start of a new season. Now’s your chance.

No doubt during the last purge you decided to hold on to that faded red long-sleeved shirt on the off chance that you’d be called up on to rake leaves or paint a mural and you might need something ratty. Chances are, it’s been sitting half-folded in your drawer ever since. Purge.

I understand the temptation to hold on to things. I did a drawer purge this very morning and hand-typed notes from my cousin Mildred remain in the bottom of my underwear drawer because I’m just not ready to see them go. I get it. But ratty t-shirts and unread paperbacks have a limited lifespan in a tiny apartment, and you need to be the one to do the hard work of letting them know their time has come.

Fill up a bag, drop it at a donation center, breathe a little easier.

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  • Reply Lauren Ashley September 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    I so need to do this, I've been putting off a closet purge for months … thanks for the reminder!

  • Reply AbbieBabble September 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Yes. Yes. Yes yes yes. I think this advice is good for any sized apartment- mine isn't so tiny and yet purging is so necessary- if you don't, things just take up space and collect dust and it's a big old mess. (Is it obvious that I'm trying to psych myself up for a purge?)

  • Reply emily @ cabin fervor September 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I don't live in a tiny apartment anymore (my house is maybe even too big if you ask me) but I purge constantly and am a firm believer in buying better, not more. This is a great reminder for everyone. My wardrobe is half the size it was two years ago, but I don't feel I have less to wear than before. It feels so freeing… I do have a toddler though, and it's hard not to feel like I'm drowning in "stuff" with her around. Ah well.

  • Reply Charlotte | Charlotte's Web September 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Yeah… I'm REALLY bad at this. I swear everytime I open my wardrobe door something falls out of it and onto me, I just can't part with anything

    Must. Get. Better.

  • Reply Tidy-Up Gal September 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Purging is so liberating!

  • Reply dervla @ the curator September 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    ah yes, totally. Sometimes i can't cut through the clutter to even begin the purge though. And the worst is when the bag for the sal val sits at my door for weeks, and eventually i just toss it back into a closet! AHHH!

  • Reply Julia Barger September 18, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    This is SO key! I go through my apartment every new season and donate or throw out anything that we haven't touched/used for the last few months. It's hard at first, but SO worth it!

  • Reply megan janae September 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    this is a good one. less is more.

  • Reply kristyn September 18, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Hell yes.

  • Reply pretty little things September 18, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    this just reminds me I need to clean out my closet!! xo

  • Reply Anonymous September 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    I just did this today!

  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic September 19, 2013 at 2:13 am

    You definitely have a point. I held onto lots of clothes longer than I should have, because of the sentimental value attached to them. For example, I held onto a shirt that never fits but that I loved because I bought it in Spain. I finally gave it away, especially with several other bags of clothes. It's nice to have more space in my closet.

  • Reply Alexa September 19, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    hit the nail on the head with this one, erin!

    my nyc studio is <400 sq feet and i revisit my closet every few months—there simply isn't enough space to let anything pile up or go unused. truth be told, one of my favorite things about living in this small space is how it regularly forces me to evaluate what i actually NEED. if it is not meaningful, beautiful, or useful, it must go.

  • Reply Sika September 22, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Declutter is so important! It really makes us feel free and at the same time more aware of how much we are held by material. Only buying a new item when we get rid of the old equivalent one, is the right thing to do. Thanks for reminding me.

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